careers.novascotia.ca

Authors and Writers

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NOC:5121
Occupation:Authors and Writers
Category:Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

About the job

Nature of work:

Authors and writers plan, research and write books, scripts, storyboards, plays, essays, speeches, manuals, specifications and other non-journalistic articles for publication or presentation. They are employed by advertising agencies, governments, large corporations, private consulting firms, publishing firms, multimedia/new-media companies and other establishments, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties:
The following is a summary of the main duties of some jobs in this group:
  • Novelists, playwrights, script writers, poets, and other creative writers conceive and write novels, plays, scripts, poetry and other material for publication or presentation. They may conduct research to establish factual content and to obtain other necessary information.
  • Technical writers analyze material, such as specifications, notes and drawings and write manuals, user guides and other documents to explain clearly and concisely the installation, operation and maintenance of software and electronic, mechanical and other equipment.
  • Copywriters study and determine selling features of products and services and write text for advertisements and commercials.

Authors and writers may specialize in a particular subject or type of writing.

Sample job titles:
  • advertising copywriter
  • author
  • multimedia writer
  • playwright
  • poet
  • publicity writer
  • screen writer
  • script and dialogue writer
  • technical writer
  • writer
Skills:

You should be organized, resourceful, and creative. A critical mind, excellent writing ability, and language skills are also necessary. At times, writing requires patience, self-discipline, and perseverance. Strong keyboarding and word processing skills are a definite asset.

Job requirements:
  • Technical writers usually require a university degree in the area of specialization, such as computer science or engineering.
  • Copywriters usually require a university degree or college diploma in French, English, marketing, advertising or another discipline.
  • Creative writing programs are offered by universities and colleges.
  • Membership in a guild or union related to the job may be required.
Other considerations:

Both part-time employment and self-employment are relatively common for this group. Some people in these jobs work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends. Talent and ability, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are important hiring criteria.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia, with employment around 600. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Authors and Writers may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. Also, a large percentage of the workforce is self-employed which should be an important consideration for those thinking about employment in the occupation.

The median employment income for 46% of Authors and Writers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $48,246. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Authors and Writers635Moderate growth45Low
Minimum:  N/A
Median:  N/A
Maximum:  N/A
Minimum: $-498
Median: $19,623
Maximum: $74,645
Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport11,000Moderate growth735Moderate
Minimum: $10.81
Median: $16.00
Maximum: $31.00
Minimum: $945
Median: $11,712
Maximum: $60,447
Authors and WritersCompared to: Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
Percent employed full-time62%59%
Percent self-employed64%33%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentAuthors and WritersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern7%x12%$30,581
Northern17%x16%$33,660
Cape Breton6%x13%$32,974
Halifax60%$40,56947%$41,209
Annapolis Valley11%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeAuthors and WritersCompared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% Employed% Employed
15-245%N/A
25-3423%13%
35-4420%44%
45-5415%35%
55-6410%8%
65+33%4%
Median Age5238
GenderAuthors and WritersCompared to: Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% Employed% Employed
Female59%56%
Male41%44%
EducationAuthors and WritersCompared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolxx10.2%$2,298
High school9.9%$25,59626.2%$7,127
Trades certificate2.5%x3.6%$13,575
College certificate or diploma16.5%$36,62920.3%$20,158
University certificate or diplomaxx1.7%$20,801
Bachelor's degree48.8%$32,42427.5%$19,705
University advanced certificate or diploma3.3%$14,8991.5%$18,274
Master's degreex$16,5718.0%x
Doctorate11.6%$1,8571.0%$30,975
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry6.6%x0.1%$11,741
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia
1113 Marginal Road
Halifax, NS B3H 4P7
Tel: (902) 423-8116
Fax: (902) 422-0881
contact@writers.ns.ca
Canadian Authors Association
6 West Street N, Suite 203
Orillia, ON L3V 5B8
Tel: (705) 325-3926
admin@canadianauthors.org
Writers' Union of Canada
600-460 Richmond St. W.
Toronto, ON M5V 1Y1
Tel: (416) 703-8982
Fax: (416) 504-9090
info@writersunion.ca
Periodical Writers Association of Canada
, ON
Tel: (416) 504-1645
info@pwac.ca
Society for Technical Communication
9401 Lee Highway, Suite 300
Fairfax, VA - USA 22031
Tel: (703) 522-4114
Fax: (703) 522-2075

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Classics and classical languages, literatures and linguistics - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the literary culture of the ancient Graeco-Roman world and the Greek and Latin languages and literatures and their development prior to the fall of the Roman Empire.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Program Name:Communication, general
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the comprehensive study of communication, and that spans the study of mass communication/media studies, old and new media technologies, social and political applications, and speech communication and rhetoric. These programs include courses in interpersonal, group, organizational, and intercultural communication; theories of communication; critical thinking, argumentation, and persuasion; written communication; printed, electronic, and digital media; rhetorical tradition and criticism; media, society, and culture; consequences and effects of mass media; media social science and criticism; and quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry.
See all institutions providing this program+
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:English creative writing
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the process and techniques of original composition in various literary forms such as the short story, poetry, the novel, and others. These programs include courses in technical and editorial skills, criticism, and the marketing of finished manuscripts.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
Program Name:English language and literature - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the English language, including its history, structure and related communications skills; and the literature and culture of English-speaking peoples.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:English writing
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the English language, including its history, structure and related communications skills; and the literature and culture of English-speaking peoples.
See all institutions providing this program+
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Program Name:French language and literature (Canada) - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the French language, including its history, structure and related communications skills; and the literature and culture of French-speaking peoples.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:Technical and scientific communication
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the communication of technical and scientific knowledge to a variety of audiences through print, video, and digital media; and that prepares individuals to function as technical writers and editors, documentation developers, web designers, and usability specialists. These programs include courses in scientific and technical writing and editing, graphic and information design, web design, audience analysis, document usability and field testing, publications management, and applications to specific technical fields.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.